Keep my Eco-Complete or change? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Keep my Eco-Complete or change?

Should I keep my Eco-Complete substrate or should I change it? I've got a 40 gallon tank with about 80lbs of this stuff in it. At first I really liked the stuff but the more I look at it, the more I don't like it. I don't like the bigger pieces of "rock" that are in it.

More importantly...I think I'd be better off with layered substrate but I'm not sure what to get or how much. If the Eco will yield about the same results as switching, then I'd probably be just as well off leaving it alone. However, if switching would yield better plant growth, then by all means I believe that is what I should do.

Any suggestions? Or any suggestions about what type of layered material I need or just any helpful comments on this subject?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 11:56 AM
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Well, I tried the Amano two-layer substrate and I really hated it. I replaced it with Eco-Complete and other than the color, which I see as a little too dark, I'm completely satisfied with it and get great results. There were some "large" pieces in there when I put it in the tank but not so many that removing them by hand from the outset was a problem.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Well for myself, it's got to be dark colored if not just plain ole black. I don't get with the red stuff and the guys using the kitty litter stuff...I don't see how they stand that grey color. I guess maybe seeing it in person is different from thought or pictures but for myself I prefer black substrate. So whatever I do, it'll have to be capped with something black.

What about dual layer did you not like? I just figured that going with different layers would have to be better than just plain "rocks". I mean I know Eco isn't just rock, it has other things in it and all that but you should understand what I'm saying. I know aquatic plants differ from houseplants and yard plants...but you don't put them in rocky substrate and expect anything good from them.

I've had massive problems with not being able to grow plants. I had some issues that I think I've resolved. But in the meantime, I wanted to research and gather opinions on substrate just so I could be prepared if my changes didn't net any good results. Because at this point, I think I really should see some fair growth out of my plants and not see so much dying going on anymore. And if I don't, then the way I see it, it's got to be the substrate that is holding me back...or the plants rather.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:22 PM
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Honestly, I would go with some AS. You're going to get the best growth there. My stems went from 3" to 12" within a coupld of weeks. Of course if you're set on doing layers, I've only seen a hand full of things like that. I think the one person I know who did crazy layers was Laura. Here's the page where she goes substrate crazy :P

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:47 PM
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Frankly if you are having growth issues it is probably not your substrate that is the issue. I only have one tank with EC and it has uncontrollable growth. I also have 2 tanks with playsand and pebble gravel and their growth is the same given the same lighting conditions (one is low light so the growth is less dramatic).
Lighting and or fertilization is the most important factors limiting growth. In my new 65 I am going to use SMS as I have already had good results using it in my pond.

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